Doyle wins nod in 14th District, could have opponent in fall
Fourteenth District U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, easily won his party's nomination for an 11th term in Congress — but could have a Republican opponent in November.
According to nearly complete but unofficial returns from Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, Doyle had 84 percent of the 14th District Democratic vote, while the Rev. Janis C. Brooks of North Versailles Township had 16 percent.
Doyle said he believed voters would make their decision based on his track record.
“The things I fight for and focus on are well-known for everyone,” the lifelong Turtle Creek Valley resident said.
Supporters backed that up during an election night gathering at the Steamfitters Local 449 hall in Pittsburgh.
“Mike fights for us in Washington, D.C.,” state Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa Jr., D-Forest Hills, said at Doyle's side, watching returns that never changed from the first minutes after polls closed on Tuesday. “He knows about the needs of working families in the region.”
In Allegheny County, with 839 of 847 precincts counted, it was Doyle with 54,247, Brooks 10,098.
In Westmoreland County, with 19 of 19 precincts counted, it was Doyle with 935, Brooks 288.
The results are similar to those of two years ago, when Brooks first challenged Doyle. Brooks could not be reached for comment at presstime.
“As Congressman Doyle has expressed, people want to see positive action in Washington,” said state Sen. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, whose district includes municipalities in the 14th and 18th Congressional districts.
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, was unopposed for renomination in the 18th, which covers parts of Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington and Greene counties.
No Democrat filed to challenge Murphy, but 906 Democratic write-ins were recorded just in Allegheny County's 18th District precincts.
A candidate would need at least 1,000 write-ins, or the number required on petitions for the post.
Write-ins will have to be certified, a process that will take several weeks.
Meanwhile, at least 1,467 write-in votes were recorded in Allegheny County and 31 in Westmoreland for the Republican nomination in the 14th District.
Robert Howard, a former GOP candidate for Allegheny County controller, is seeking that nod despite his residency in Marshall Township, north of the 14th District.
“A write-in campaign is always tough, especially with a light turnout,” Howard said in Pittsburgh, where he attended Gov. Tom Corbett's election night event at the Omni William Penn Hotel.
“I am blessed, humbled and honored that a number of Republican voters wrote my name in,” Howard later posted on Facebook.
Howard does not have to live in the district in order to run, but said he would move into the district if he wins in November.
Howard was one of at least two Republicans running write-in campaigns in Mon-Yough communities. White Oak Republican chairman Kenneth Peoples sought nomination in the 35th Legislative District after being booted from the ballot by a Commonwealth Court judge for not having enough signatures on his petition.
Peoples needed 300 signatures and would need 300 votes on Tuesday. Unofficially there were 376 write-ins in the 35th District, but state Rep. Marc J. Gergely, D-White Oak, reportedly was seeking write-ins as well.
Gergely was unopposed on the Democratic ballot for nomination for a seventh term.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.